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Log homes are a special kind of home that are built with logs as the main building material. Many log homes are a family cottage but they can also be quite sophisticated and luxurious. Log homes have been popular for centuries in many countries around the world, including Canada and North America. There is much history with log homes, especially in colonial America as they were a staple part of the 'log cabin and beyond' pioneer lifestyle.
Looking to build a log home? Give us a call at 616-677-5262 or submit a contact form!
Pros: Thermal efficiency, fire resistance, aesthetic beauty and design.
Cons: Increased maintenance, cost, potentially less appealing to future buyers if you sell.
Let's start with some of the pros! For starters, logs provide excellent insulation. This benefit is primarily due to their high thermal mass and low conductivity. In other words, they absorb heat slowly and release it slowly – so the temperature inside your log home will often vary less than with other types of construction. What should this mean to you? Simply put, they help you keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. According to the National Bureau of Standards, log homes reduce energy needs by 30% when compared to traditional stick framed homes. An interesting fact that many people find surprising is that log homes are actually more fire resistant than “stick built” houses. Many people think the opposite would be true, just look at all that wood! The reason log homes are more fire resistant is because the size and diameter of logs used make them harder for fires to use as fuel. Unlike traditional framing, the fire cannot wrap around the logs as it would with traditional 2x4s.
Another pro is that log homes have many aesthetic advantages, if it's the look you like. Log homes provide a rustic feel, but they can also offer vaulted ceilings, modern kitchens, beautiful fireplaces, central air & heat, excellent insulation, diverse layouts, and energy efficiency. A lot of times people are trying to achieve a rugged and rustic look with a log home or cottage. They definitely do look incredible with a wooded or mountain background. However, if your tastes run towards a more modern setting, there are many options for modern interior decoration, design, and furnishings that go well with a log home but still lend to a less rustic aesthetic. Log homes are beautiful and unique, they add a lot of character to your property.
The cons? Log homes require more maintenance than other types of houses - though not as much as many people would imagine. The most important thing to keep in mind is that logs deteriorate over time without care and maintenance. Therefore, you will have to clean, re-stain and re-caulk your log home from time to time. If you don't, the wood will start to rot or break down from the sun’s UV rays and water damage. Major problem spots include the logs closest to the ground and walls that get the most exposure to the elements. You should generally have a professional take care of this type of work because you could otherwise damage your log home. However, a properly cared for log home can easily last 50 years without much trouble.
Another con is that they can be quite expensive to build. This is because the logs used need to be treated properly and milled; you need to have a good contractor who has experience in log home construction. If your log home isn't treated properly or if it isn't built well, the property could start to rot prematurely or have other structural issues. Finally, some people simply don't like the look of log homes. They think they're too rustic or too 'country'. Consumer preferences and design trends could affect your ability to sell your log home if you’re looking to move in the future.
Log homes can be decorated in many different ways, depending on your personal preferences. You can choose to have a rustic look with exposed logs, or you can cover the logs with drywall, plywood, or other sidings for a more finished look. You can also choose to have a variety of windows and doors, or you can keep it simple with just a few. There are some incredible doors we've seen for log homes, such as hand-carved animals or scenery on the door. Some people prefer to keep the natural look of the logs, while others might choose to clear coat or stain them on the inside (You must stain the outside). You can create vastly different appearances by the roofing, doors, windows, flooring, and interior finishes you have within your log home.
Homestead Timbers provides material for log homes across the country. We also have a construction department, Vantage Point Construction, that we use to build log homes in the West Michigan area. Give us a call at 616-677-5262 to setup an appointment to discuss building a log home.
We also provide log home maintenance services for existing log homes and will work with you to come up with a long term maintenance plan to keep your home in the best shape possible.
Living in a log home definitely has its pros and cons. The most important thing to keep in mind is that logs deteriorate over time without care and maintenance. If you're willing and able to put in the work or pay a professional to care for it, then you're golden. For a lot of us, it is a dream to have a beautiful cabin in the woods or on a lake that you and your loved ones can enjoy. Personally, some of my greatest memories growing up are at my family's log cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.